Skyrim Special Edition

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SparrowPrince TechAngel85 Brumbek

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About this mod

Replaces the default snow shader with a dynamic shader. The dynamic shader uses the installed snow texture for the shader instead of ugly vertex colors.

Permissions and credits
Better Dynamic Snow SE

Does it look like someone took a paint brush to your "snowy" objects?
Then toss your paint brush and get Better Dynamic Snow*!
* 100% organic and non-GMO


Most screenshots were taken with Nordic Snow.
Compare shots featuring Fluffy Snow are now available.
The original mod for Skyrim can be found in The Ruffled Feather here:

Better Dynamic Snow (BDS) replaces the default snow shader with a dynamic shader. The dynamic shader is applied to snowy objects and uses the installed snow texture. Thus, the installed snow texture is applied to objects instead of painting them with vertex colors like the vanilla shader does. About 90% of all snowy objects will use the new dynamic snow shader. The other 10% can't use the shader due to an engine limitation that doesn't allow objects with transparency to display a texture over transparent parts of a mesh without experiencing issues.

Snowy Farmhouses (optional)
Farmhouses have always been an issue with BDS due to the transparent edges along the roof. This edge prevents the dynamic shader from applying the snow texture, therefore, the edges of farmhouse roofs have always been bare while the rest is snow covered. These optional meshes replace vanilla farmhouses with a custom mesh that has a layer of snow skirted over the roof. The edges of the roof are alpha blended from back to front, meaning the transparency slowly increases the closer you get the edge. Most users will experience a nice layer of snow over the roofs with the edges being "patchy", as if the snow is melting and falling off along the edge.

LOD is included, however, users will have to generate it using xLODGen or DynDOLOD. DynDOLOD is recommended and its Window Glow option is supported.


A list of objects which Better Dynamic Snow alters is provided in the development document (link). Please utilize this list when checking for compatibility and reporting issues.

Better Dynamic Snow is compatible with the following:
  • Any mod that does not conflict with the included meshes.
  • Any snow re-texture mod. The installed texture will be used for the BDS snow shader.
  • Any plugin that does not alter the records for the objects listed in the development document (aka, no conflicts in xEdit)
  • SMIM (use the SMIM version provided in the installer)
  • Ruins Clutter Improved (RCI) - allow RCI to overwrite the BDS meshes.
  • Majestic Mountains - compatibility patch provide by: Better Dynamic Majestic Mountains
  • SSE Engine Fixes - (link)
  • Nine more patch can be found at the Useless Patches Collection.

Better Dynamic Snow is partially compatible with:

Enhanced Lights and FX (ELFX)
The mod is compatible with a couple exceptions.
  1. Meshes - see INSTALLATION below for the install order regarding ELFX.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of both the mods!!!

No Snow Under the Roof
The mod is compatible with the provided patch, however, keep the following in mind:
  1. Users will not have the BDS snow shader on farmhouses due to issues between the shader and snow piles on the roofs.
  2. BDS Snowy Farmhouses are not compatible with NSUTR because they are doing the same thing. The Snowy Farmhouses option will be unselectable in the installer when NSUTR is present in the load order.

Better Dynamic Snow recommends the following mods:

SSE Engine Fixes (link)
This mod is recommend due to its many bug fixes for the game. It fixes tree reflections, waterflow speed, improves LOD performance, fixes issues with the snow shader and sparkles, and more. Read the mod page, read the INI, set it up however works best for your preferences.


Installing BDS is very simple.
  1. Using your mod manager, download  the main file and run the installer.
  2. If you have SMIM installed, choose the SMIM option. Else, choose the Vanilla option.
  3. Install the mod.
  4. Sort with LOOT.
  5. Set bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1 in your SkyrimPrefs.ini file.

Installation Order
For mods that have mesh (.nif) conflicts, the author of those mods will need to ensure the redundant NiAlpha node on the mesh is deleted for the surfaces which will be snow covered. Incompatible meshes will not display the dynamic snow shader and they could potentially cause CTDs. Else, install Better Dynamic Snow after these conflicting mods so that BDS wins the file conflict.

Enhanced Lights and FX (ELFX)
Currently there are two choices:
  1. Install ELFX before BDS - this will allow BDS to take priority and you will have the new snow on the conflicting meshes, but you will likely also have light flicker on the meshes too.
  2. Install BDS before ELFX - this will allow ELFX to take priority and you will NOT have the new snow on the conflicting meshes, but you shouldn't have any light flicker on meshes.


Weirdly painted objects?
Try disabling the new snow shader in the settings menu or by using BethINI.

Mismatched LOD for snow?
See this topic:


BDS featured by Lakebit: Article

If you'd like your media approved when submitting to this mod, please ensure the media actually covers the mod!
Media that does not showcase the mod in any form (e.g. 'lets plays' that briefly show a snowy area, but 90% of the video is not) will not be approved. Media submitted should feature the mod to some a larger extent in the media whether the mod is the focal point or is in the background.